Halo Wars Review
Halo Wars is Microsoft's attempt into the RTS (Real Time Strategy) realm, using the abundance of the Halo Universe to help get gamers motivated to give this game a try. This game takes place before the FPS (First Person Shooter) Halo starts. You will be commanding units, building bases, destroying Covenant, and trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious activities of said Covenant.
Graphically you're looking at a game that looks like you took most of the Halo models and zoomed out. So you're really looking at a game that doesn't suffer from graphical quality. There are a couple of units that are hard to tell apart until you select them, but that's not a big enough problem that will cause most to quit the game. I was really blown away by the quality of the cut scenes in this game. Even though you maybe playing a RTS with all of its zoomed out camera angles, come cinematic time, you're looking at movie quality CG populating your TV screen.
The music is Halo, enough said, its good. The dialog can have its plain moments, but overall it does have an engaging component to it. The voice over that alerts you to to what is going on makes me continuously want to say "Make it so Number One", but other than that its informative, though really repetitive in some levels.
The controls are the problem for this game. To do a RTS on a console you're going to have to take shortcuts, and the controls are the one area that you can see it plan as day. Trying to move quickly around the map, or trying to quickly change targets in a fight will have you going crazy as you might slightly over shoot your target and instead have you units move . The other thing is that you can create squads to perform flank attacks. You either select one unit or the whole screen of units.
Overall this game is refreshing to see that Halo doesn't have to be a FPS, sadly though I think this game would have been a much more complete game if it was on the PC, where you have a mouse to quickly move around the screen instead of the left analog stick, you can zoom in and out a bit more, and you would be able to form squads to take the enemy out. Now with that being said, I think that if it did make the jump to PC in this current form that there would have to be a lot of work done because I think that giving that much more power to the user would make the games flaws shine.
If you are looking for a slightly different flavor of Halo, this might be for you. If you're looking for a fully immersive RTS, you're going to find that you're going to want more than this game can give you. If you're willing to play with what this game gives you so that you can get an even better understanding of what is going on in the Halo Universe, then stop reading now and go pick this game up. Even with all of its shortcomings, this game is still a solid one on a console, so this game gets a 8.7 out of 10.